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Collecting Hardware Information to Troubleshoot ZENworks Imaging



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December 7, 2007 4:43 pm

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By Jared Jennings

Problem:

Now and then the imaging kernel lacks support for new network card chip-sets and this causes much grief for admins. Lately, a simple fix has resolved most imaging hardware support issues, but I want to also show how to collect hardware information and transfer the information to a USB memory stick for later use.

Required Tools:

  • ZENworks Imaging Boot CD
  • USB Memory stick, formated FAT or FAT32

Let’s begin!

Boot the ZENworks Imaging CD and select manual mode.
For those of us that do not know, the Imaging CD can be created by locating “bootcd.iso”, usually located in sys:\public\zenworks\imaging or on Windows server in SystemRoot\novell\public\zenworks\imaging. The iso image, must be burned to a CD, not as a file, but as a CD image. For example, Nero burning software refers to this as “Burn CD Image”.

During the Imaging CD boot, the IP address of the imaging server is requested, but this prompt is not important and any IP address can be entered here or the IP address of the ZENworks Imaging Server.

A prompt “#” is presented once the boot process is finished and now INSERT the USB memory stick. Once the USB memory stick is connected(plugged in, inserted into the USB port), kickoff the following command.

dmesg

This utility reports what the kernel knows about hardware events. One of the key pieces of information that we care about, is what the kernel knows about the USB memory stick and “dmesg” will provide the following information.

The output tells us that the memory stick is known as device “sdb”, [sdb] tells us this. We can see that I used a 1gb memory stick for this example.

The next piece of kernel output shows us that there is one partition on this disk “sdb1″ and this is the partition we will mount into a folder on the local file-system.

Now that we know the device address of the memory stick, let’s create a folder so that we can mount the memory stick and save the needed hardware information to this location.

Create the following folder /usbstick using the following command

mkdir /usbdisk

From the above dmesg information, mount the memory stick to /usbstick, with the following command

mount /dev/sdb1 /usbstick

This will mount the above memory stick to the /usbstick folder, of course “sdb1″ should be replaced with the information that was collected from the dmesg output.

Now we are ready to put the hardware information to the memory stick and for this we will use hwinfo to collect this information.

hwinfo –all –log /usbstick/hardware_information.txt

With this command, we output all hardware information that the kernel knows about to hardware_information.txt

At this point we have collected all the information and can reboot, turn the PC off, or whatever you prefer. The file on the memory stick, hardware_information.txt can be viewed and used for troubleshooting.

What was collected?

Looking at the information saved to the text file a few important points can be gleaned.

We know the machine model, the network card model and VERY importantly, the device ID “SubDevice”. This device ID is used by the kernel to match the correct driver. Simply adding this device ID to the Imaging Kernel configuration file, may resolve any unsupported hardware imaging issues. See TID 3761823 as an example.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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